Elly not overawed by star power on show at Walcha

She might be the youngest player in the field at this week’s Women’s World Sand Greens powered by Origin Energy, but Tenterfield’s Elly Petrie will be ready to give it her best when she tees it up against some of Australian golf’s brightest golfing talent here at Walcha Golf Club.

Just 16, Petrie has only been playing seriously for 12 months but has already whittled her handicap down to an impressive two.

“I used to just play with friends, and I enjoyed it, then the ladies (at Tenterfield) invited me to the juniors on Wednesday.

“I was playing every weekend and improving, so I just kept at it.”

Her passion for the sport has already led her to claim the Women’s Club Championship at Tenterfield (twice) and the club’s Open Women’s crown just last week. Earlier this year, Petrie also claimed the women’s amateur at Ocean Shores on the NSW north coast.

“When I win, it feels like my training and practising is falling into place. 

“It makes me want to keep getting out there to get better all the time.”

Petrie had a stint in the pool as a young teenager, chasing the black line and posting some competitive times for the 50-metre freestyle. Her best “high 27s – low 28” (seconds) was fast enough to see her attend the national titles.

Golf, however, is now her major sporting love.

“I just didn’t like swimming any more,” she said. “I just really want to keep playing golf and see where it could take me.”

“I like the feeling of winning golf tournaments.”

Tomorrow is Petrie’s first hit-out against names she’s seen on TV. The signage around the course adds to the vibe she’s getting. 

The Year 11 student said she’d be taking in everything she could from her more experienced playing partners but also readily admitted there might be a few nerves on the first.

“I just hope to have a great experience and see the level that they play at.

“It will be good to see what I need to strive to improve and how they approach their game, like how they can switch on and off.

“Everything out here, like all the boards, all the players, and the caddies, makes it feel really cool.

“I know I am going to be very, very nervous, but I think it will make me more determined to play well.”

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